The Institute of International Education has coined the term “heritage seeker” as a student who is drawn to study abroad in a particular country and culture “not because it is unfamiliar and new, but rather because it is somewhat familiar.” These students encounter unique experiences that allow them to learn more about their personal and/or ancestral history and culture. To help prepare for your travels, consider the questions and review the resources below.
- How will I be perceived in my host country?
- How might my language skills in the country’s language impact my experience as a heritage seeker?
- What expectations should I have as a heritage seeker traveling to a familiar country?
- How should I react if I find something to be offensive?
Ask your Global Experiences Coordinator and other program staff:
- Will there be other heritage seekers in my program?
- Are there resources available in my host city/country to learn more about my heritage?
- What have other heritage seekers felt when in their host country?
Prepare & Research:
- Research the customs and culture of your host country.
- Speak with OASIS
- Previous heritage seeking students and international students from your host country.
- University of Texas - Seeking Your Roots
- Heritage Travel: What it is and How it Can Benefit You
- Northwestern University - Student Stories
- Diversity Abroad - Tips for Heritage Seekers
If I have more questions, who should I contact?
- Stephanie Benes, Global Experiences Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org